- www.asicsamerica.com // $18. Fantastic for fall and winter trail blazing, these merino wool socks are thick but conform well to the outline of each foot, thanks to anatomically correct left and right foot construction, arch-support bands and a “Y” heel gore fit.
- www.injinji.com // $16. If you’re prone to suffering from between-toe blisters, these socks eliminate the problem with separate anti-friction compartments for each toe. It may take two or three runs to get used to the snugness around each toe, but the glove-like fit becomes addictive. NuWool technology adjusts with the temperature, keeping feet toasty in cold temps and cool in hot conditions.
- www.inov-8.com // $20. Don’t balk at the more expensive price tag just yet—this inventive two-in-one Coolmax padded sock has an apron that stretches over the top of the shoe and an elasticated cuff that hugs the ankle and keeps rocks, twigs, dirt, mud and other abrasive debris out of your shoes. The apron is held in place by rubber fasteners that strap under the sole and a hook that secures to shoe laces.
- www.salomonsocks.com // $11. These are like luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets for your feet. These new socks from trail experts Salomon feature a high thread count and NanoGlide fiber, manufacturing speak that, translated, means: high-performance, supportive yet comfy like slippers. Mesh knitting on the forefoot and wicking fibers keep feet dry. Elastic bands at the arch and ankle, and Achilles reinforcement provide extra support.
Trail running is hard on your feet–the right socks can soothe the stress.
From ferocious climbs and screaming declines to terrain encumbered by rocks, roots, brush, streams and even stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks wild animals, running on trails can prove as exhilarating as it is challenging. Although the right shoes are the first line of defense against the elements, high-quality socks will keep your feet dry, comfortable and blister-free.
This piece first appeared in the August issue of Competitor Magazine.